SnoozeFishing

NJ Spring Run

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Hey, so this is my first spring run in Ocean County, NJ I have fished north MOCO for most of my striper career. I'm starting to get nervous here as I haven't really got into too many fish, if I get one it's a one off which makes it really hard to put patterns together. Haven't had more than one fish on an outing this entire year not counting blue fish. In the fall the I at least caught a fish everytime I went out once I put the patterns together, this year I haven't caught a striper since the end of April and I have been out at least 15 times since then. I thought May was prime time is this the ending or just the beginning cause this really sucks. 

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1 hour ago, JMB said:

We really don’t consider Ocean county NJ

We really don't consider anything north of 195 NJ

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6 hours ago, SnoozeFishing said:

Hey, so this is my first spring run in Ocean County, NJ I have fished north MOCO for most of my striper career. I'm starting to get nervous here as I haven't really got into too many fish, if I get one it's a one off which makes it really hard to put patterns together. Haven't had more than one fish on an outing this entire year not counting blue fish. In the fall the I at least caught a fish everytime I went out once I put the patterns together, this year I haven't caught a striper since the end of April and I have been out at least 15 times since then. I thought May was prime time is this the ending or just the beginning cause this really sucks. 

There are so many factors that could effect your catches. Your skill/knowledge/luck aside, several factors that weigh heavily into Ocean County are:

 

Beach replenishment - many beaches have had tons of sand dumped onto them in the last year, destroying what little habitat there was for bait and larger fish.

Lack of structure to begin with - The Jersey shore doesn't have boulders and rocks like Long Island/New England to consistently hold fish. While sand cuts, sand bars, etc do an OK job at holding fish at times, our sandy beaches aren't conducive to holding quality fish for a prolonged time. No bait/structure = no reason for big hungry fish to hang around

Tide/Time of Day you're fishing - Fishing the preferred tide times and moons can help get you bit

Less bass out there - You've read and seen it on this website often, the striper population is down. There are still fish to be had, but less fish out there decreases your catch odds.

 

All I can tell you is to keep hammering, and if it's 15 trips without a striper, and you really want a striper, change the spots you're going to!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm not fishing a beach replenishment beach it's a park. This fishery is going downhill. I change spots all the time, I consider myself a fairly competent bucktail fishermen and have landed plenty of big fish with my techniques but I can't catch what's not there. Usually there multiple reports of people catching 5+ bass on a single outing I'm not seeing that this year. Mostly just the random bunker slinger with a 30+ inch bass. How much time is left to land a decent bass this spring?

Edited by SnoozeFishing

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8 hours ago, SnoozeFishing said:

Hey, so this is my first spring run in Ocean County, NJ I have fished north MOCO for most of my striper career. I'm starting to get nervous here as I haven't really got into too many fish, if I get one it's a one off which makes it really hard to put patterns together. Haven't had more than one fish on an outing this entire year not counting blue fish. In the fall the I at least caught a fish everytime I went out once I put the patterns together, this year I haven't caught a striper since the end of April and I have been out at least 15 times since then. I thought May was prime time is this the ending or just the beginning cause this really sucks. 

even up here in Moco..it has been a feast or famine spring. It is likely the same in OC. For every 1 great outing of keeper bass and gator blues this spring, ive had 4 or 5 skunks. Its timing, weather, less fish, and unusual patterns. I know its not the answer you want but all i can tell you is keep plugging away. bass will be in vicinity till at least the 4th of July before they start to move out or at least go dormant till night falls. Try different times to. I always do better at dusk than morning or midday. Mix it up. 

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1 hour ago, SnoozeFishing said:

I'm not fishing a beach replenishment beach it's a park. This fishery is going downhill. I change spots all the time, I consider myself a fairly competent bucktail fishermen and have landed plenty of big fish with my techniques but I can't catch what's not there. Usually there multiple reports of people catching 5+ bass on a single outing I'm not seeing that this year. Mostly just the random bunker slinger with a 30+ inch bass. How much time is left to land a decent bass this spring?

You should put on a snorkel and mask and jump in around the jetties.  You'd be shocked at what's down there, ignoring everyone's offerings.  

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2 hours ago, SnoozeFishing said:

I'm not fishing a beach replenishment beach it's a park. This fishery is going downhill. I change spots all the time, I consider myself a fairly competent bucktail fishermen and have landed plenty of big fish with my techniques but I can't catch what's not there. Usually there multiple reports of people catching 5+ bass on a single outing I'm not seeing that this year. Mostly just the random bunker slinger with a 30+ inch bass. How much time is left to land a decent bass this spring?

Looks like you're covering your bases pretty well. I'll echo what others have been saying, and I definitely have had better years in the surf myself. You're 100% right that you can't catch what's not there. 

 

From a time standpoint, our fishery holds fish into late June, depending on water temps and bait around. Many fish have moved north by that time however. Much of the June bite is a boat game where guys are live-lining bunker. Still, there are fish out front and in the back. Just gotta keep trying.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I'm going to try moving north tonight(I only fish night) and try some structure. Has there been any bait seen off the sand beaches in ocean county? I haven't heard of any talk about bait. Thanks for the words of encouragement just unmotivating. 

Edited by SnoozeFishing

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When bait vastly outnumber predators, they will very likely ignore your artificial offering but wont turn down a nice juicy bunker chunk or a whole bunker.  That's why you see bait guy still get hooked up when plug guy fail to get a sniff.  This goes for very calm condition or featureless ( almost ) beaches. There is no urgency for them to feed.

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27 mins ago, hobobob said:

When bait vastly outnumber predators, they will very likely ignore your artificial offering but wont turn down a nice juicy bunker chunk or a whole bunker.  That's why you see bait guy still get hooked up when plug guy fail to get a sniff.  This goes for very calm condition or featureless ( almost ) beaches. There is no urgency for them to feed.

Well they better start getting urgent I have a tournament to win! 

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